Women of the Wall clashing with Orthodox worshipers

Women of the Wall clashing with Orthodox worshipers. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

The legal department of the Women of the Wall sent a  letter to the police commissioner on Sunday, condemning the police’s actions as part of the events that took place on Friday.

“During the month preceding the prayer, we contacted the police and announced that an unusual number of worshipers are expected to arrive and take part in the prayer to mark the movement’s 30th anniversary, which was supposed to be held on the women’s side of the Western Wall,” wrote Chair of the Women of the Wall Anat Hoffman.

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“We even warned that rabbis have been calling on their students to arrive at the Western Wall plaza in order to protest against the Women of the Wall and to interfere with the prayer,” the letter continued. “Despite our petition, the events which took place last Friday were once again a horrifying demonstration of abuse, severely damaging women’s worship rights.”

The letter condemned the police, saying that “the police abandoned the Women of the Wall, and left them at the mercy of the brute behavior of the angry mob that surrounded them.”

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Hoffman claimed that “The police had to act with all the means at its disposal in order to protect the Women of the Wall and their right to pray, but this was not done, and therefore this is a very serious failure in the conduct of the police.”

Deputy Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman spoke at the entrance to the cabinet meeting on Friday about the events that took place at the Western Wall plaza, refusing to condemn the Orthodox demonstrators who attacked the Women of the Wall.

“The police announced that there was a provocation by the Women of the Wall. They should have been thrown out,” he said. Litzman was asked whether this justified violence and replied that “violence by the Women of the Wall? Absolutely not.”